REVIEW: With Abandon by J.L. LangleySaturday, March 19, 2011 1:00
Matt Mahihkan has never lived anywhere except the Southwest, so when he gets a scholarship to a college in Georgia, he has to leave behind his family, his friends, and his pack. Â Did I mention Matt is a werewolf – an adorable, klutzy, color-blind werewolf? Â Because he is. His friend Keaton, who happens to be from Georgia, arranges for Matt to spend full moons with his former pack. Â While getting ready to move, Matt texts Keaton’s brother Aubrey to introduce himself and ask some questions about his new home. Â He and Aubrey continued to text each other and develop a friendship of sorts – so much so that Aubrey offers to let Matt stay in his condo.
Aubrey Reynolds takes his responsibilities very seriously. Â He recently has taken over management of his family’s chain of hotels and is high up in the structure of his pack, as well. Â Aubrey grew up knowing he’s expected to take over for his father and maintain the family’s place in society – both human and wolf. Â And growing up in the conservative South, expectations are very, very high. Â So anything unusual has to be carefully concealed – his human business connections can’t know he is a werewolf and no one, human or wolf, can know he is gay. Â So when he meets Matt in person and discovers Matt is his mate, Aubrey sees all sorts of problems looming on the horizon. Aubrey initially tells Matt he doesn’t have room in his life for a mate. Â But they have such instant rapport and Matt is so sweet and temptingly close-by…
As Matt settles into college, dealing with classes and homework and making new friends, Aubrey deals with problems at work. The board of directors doesnâ€™t want to listen to a youngster, one of the board is blackmailing an employee, and the potential scandal if anyone finds out about his and Mattâ€™s relationship weigh on his mind.
Deciding what to do about his relationship with Matt is hard for Aubrey – he isn’t just battling the opinion of others, he is battling with himself. Â It is hard to completely change the way you look at your life when you have had a clear plan for so long. Â Aubrey is suddenly forced to address new possibilities and is tempted to put himself ahead of the people depending on him, but he wants so much to live up to all the expectations of others. Along the way Aubrey and Matt learn the enemy isn’t always who you think it is and friends aren’t always what they seem.
The relationship between Aubrey and Matt is so sweet and fun. Â Being with Matt lets Aubrey play and de-stress and being with Aubrey gives Matt someone to take care of and gives him some grown-up responsibilities. Even though they come together with different ideas – Matt doesnâ€™t want a relationship anything like the one his parents have and Aubrey wants to continue his familyâ€™s legacy – they balance each other. Â With Abandon can stand alone, but I recommend the whole series…the world keeps expanding and getting richer and the friendships continue to deepen and strengthen.
Love was never part of his planâ€¦until it pounced.
As heir to an old and proud heritage, Aubrey Reynolds works and lives for his family, his employees and his pack. Agreeing to watch after a visiting werewolf is no big dealâ€”until he discovers the newcomer is his mate. His very male mateâ€¦which is a very big deal, indeed. Revealing his sexuality was never part of Aubreyâ€™s well-ordered life plan.
Much as he loved caring for his eight younger brothers, Matt Mahihkan knows itâ€™s time to grab the opportunity to attend college in Atlanta. Realizing Aubrey is his mate should have been a delightful experienceâ€¦except Aubrey treats him more like a dirty little secret than a lover. Yet Matt is a patient man. Aubrey canâ€™t stay in the closet forever. Can he?
In time, they settle into a comfortable, if complicated, routine. Until a rogue werewolf with an axe to grind forces Aubrey to add to the wedge of secrets driving him and Matt apart, leaving Matt exposed to dangerâ€¦and Aubrey forced to choose between love and duty.
Warning: Contains color abuse with a really bad sense of fashion, a southern accent from hell, sex on antique furniture, a pouncing playful werewolf, obnoxious siblings, liberal use of a color identifier and impatient sex. No lightning bugs were harmed in the making of this book.
Read an excerpt.
Other books in the series: